Comfort zones

sikujui:

Very apt things. Good, and apt.

Originally posted on Cristian Mihai:

“Change isn’t easy… changing the way you live means changing what you believe about life. That’s hard… When we make our own misery, we sometimes cling to it even when we want so bad to change because the misery is something we know. The misery is comfortable.”Dean Koontz

A lot has happened in the past year. Good and bad. I laughed, cried, got my heart broken. I thought things couldn’t get worse, then they did. Then I thought things couldn’t get any better, and… lo and behold, they did.

And I changed. As a person. I began to see myself in a different light. I began to see the world around me differently.

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I have tried to avoid hot topics such as my dress my choice, and my body my home cause it always has unnecessary contributions which detract from the conversation, and put in harmful opinions much like nudity is not my choice. Good for you, nudity is not your choice. However, why does it seem as if decency is based not on one’s mentality, but someone else’s outfit in this case; and especially how appealing, or comfortable it is to you? Such detraction makes me angry, and I end up taking out on my family, which is bad of me, and for them. It also leads to a lot of opinions, and ideas that I hold. Does it make me right? I don’t know, and I don’t care. What I care is that what I put out as good, and acceptable isn’t harmful, but beneficial to people. Respectful to more than those who are moralistic when it suits them.

As such, I say decency is in the mind of the beholder.

If you figure that a naked body is repulsive, that’s on you, because a naked body is nothing salacious. That idea comes from ridiculously repressed people in the medieval times, all the way to the Victorian Era.

Yes, some old nations in the continent had thing against naked bodies, but it was specific. For example, an old woman’s naked body was used as a weapon against men, and the younger ones. It was used to curse, or shame them when something was done that was wrong in the woman’s eyes. A woman in some cultures, stood naked to protest a husband’s mistreatment of her. Not because it was offensive, but because it was respected enough to be used as a weapon.

Know who decided bodies were repulsive, and hence deemed to be covered at all times in the continent? Europeans, and Arabs.They brutally enforced their standards in the places they colonised; and changed a body from being a vessel carrying a soul, and sometimes a work of art, to something that is repulsive, and should be hidden from sight, lest it offend God, and good people, because it’s so carnal; so base.

Why should a naked body offend an omniscient, omnipresent entity? And why should that entity make its own creation repulsive to itself. That’s irony, and foolishness, especially if that entity supposedly loves its creations. Idiocy. And some psychopathy, cause why create something to be repulsed by it, and then claim highest order of logic, and superhuman intelligence? Somewhere, someone’s contribution to their design of their understanding of the Almighty was greatly flawed. The body isn’t repulsive to a logical God. Therefore, the argument of God is ridiculous, and voids itself.

Nakedness being repulsive, or sensational is designed by humans. Europeans who peaked in the Victorian Era in our case. These eurocentric, Victorian era standards need to stay where they were made. As do Arabic standards that are oppressive, and inhuman. A body’s a body til it’s a work of art. Making it any other way is indecent.

Stop making people’s bodies a thing of contention. If you can’t explain what a naked body is, then don’t have one. If you can’t tolerate naked bodies, stop having one. If your biggest definition of decency is qualified by certain lengths in dressing, stop having a definition. Because your/that definition is harmful, and derisive. It concentrates on an unnecessary qualifier.

Length doesn’t determine character. Not long hair, nails, limbs, tongue, ears, sleeves, tops, or bottoms.Determining that the length of anyone’s clothes directly correlates with their character is a qualifier for one’s character. A bad one. Unless someone says their dressing is a reflection of themselves, and explains how, there’s no reason to assume, or believe a skirt defines someone. Define decency differently. Based on anything else that isn’t the length of someone’s clothes. Cause then, aren’t overlong clothes-indecent? Aren’t ill-fitting jackets, and colours that are ghastly against people’s skin tone indecent? Aren’t those qualifiers ridiculous?

We have to stop holding harmful eurocentric standards as definitions of decency. Decency means acceptable behaviour to set standards of morality, respect? How does it benefit us to still uphold mentality that was entrenched brutally in our ancestors? It’s a failing that of all things to keep from our colonisers, we choose the negative, harmful things. Change the standards.

Decency involves mentality; it should involve people not being offended by thighs, and buttocks, or ankle, and elbows. It involves accepting the norms of a human body; and rejecting harmful things like uncleanliness from here on out. It involves rejecting lack of water supply so severe that people can’t bathe or wash their clothes for days on end. Decency is provision of shelters for homeless people, and donations of viable clothes to those who can’t afford them.Indecent dressing isn’t about a chest, or ankle seen, but about wearing the same clothes in public for five days straight. It’s about wearing 20k suits while people are starving in North, and NorthWest Kenya. How about a 5k suit, and the 15k buy people food, aye?

Rich people dare to imply that short skirts and sagging pants are a problem while wearing clothes that could feed a family for a month. Oh, yeah, a micro mini is indecent, but not people starving while others spend a month’s worth of food on booze in a weekend. I scoff at them.

Indecency is the repulsion people have to natural bodies; to the display of body parts instead of the violence routinely meted upon bodies in the name of discipline. Why are people repulsed by them? What is going on that you think they are bad? Why can’t you explain to child that an average naked body is nothing to write home about? Why sensationalise nakedness to such an extent that a stranger’s nakedness humiliates you? Especially if that person isn’t cursing you. That’s misplaced, and unnecessary.

Teach that a body is that in which a life is carried. Teach the respect of bodies; naked or not. Teach that unless someone is sharing their body with you, or using it against you; it’s not a concern to you. Unless it’s in danger, or having suffered trauma, starving, sleeping in the open, suffering dehydration, anything compromising it’s physical health, being violent towards you, it’s not a concern to you.

Redefine indecency, and make it such that it involves violence upon positive native aesthetics like locks, and copper neck-braces. Make it indecent that schools can refuse people admission, and attendance for wearing jeans, and locks; and work places refuse to hire people based on their non-eurocentric attire. Make that an issue. Leave unnecessary problems aside. Short skirts, sagging pants; exposed thighs, buttocks, or foreheads are not serious. Violence, and violent policing against women, and men who don’t make others feel comfortable according to harmful standards of social acceptance is the indecency problem rife in this country.

I Inherited My Brother’s Laptop After His Suicide, What I Found On It Made Me Glad He Did It

Originally posted on Thought Catalog:

I lived most of my life never having to deal with a delicate situation, or any momentary thing that tried to bounce my life off track. Not only that but I spent most of my life happily with a happy family who did happy normal family things together like camping, going to fairs, vacations to the beach; one of those picture perfect families that appeared with genuine smiles in photo albums. Now that I look back, I guess my brother, Shawn, and I were spoiled with love in ways that many children weren’t and it just makes me thankful for the way that we grew up. Close.

That’s why, originally, it didn’t make sense to me at all the day that my world got shattered. I guess I could have said that I saw it coming the day I saw my brother leave his room after about…

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I Waited Until My Wedding Night To Lose My Virginity And I Wish I Hadn’t

sikujui:

Reasons I scoff at abstinence pledges when you don’t know anything about abstinence, leave alone indulgence.

Originally posted on Thought Catalog:

“Believing that true love waits, I make a commitment to God, myself, my family, my friends, my future mate and my future children to be sexually abstinent from this day until the day I enter a biblical marriage relationship. As well as abstaining from sexual thoughts, sexual touching, pornography, and actions that are known to lead to sexual arousal.”

At the age of 10, I took a pledge at my church alongside a group of other girls to remain a virgin until marriage. Yes, you read that right — I was 10 years old.

Let’s take a look at who I was as a 10-year-old: I was in fourth grade. I played with Barbie dolls and had tea parties with imaginary friends. I pretended I was a mermaid every time I took a bath. I still thought boys were icky and I had no idea I liked girls, too. I…

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I let it known that I watch telenovelas. I don’t have great, elaborate reasons. The actors are mostly attractive, the acting is outlandish, the stories tickle my humour, and they have erotic love scenes. This doesn’t mean I ignore the messages they put in them. If I did, I’d end up being a mindless consumer; not my cup of tea. As such, I have found telenovelas to be toxic media of messages, which when taken up by people not bothering to question the messages, or critique them, then promote harmful ideologies, and cultures in the viewer.

Why do I write this? Well, I’m watching Lo Que La Vida Me Robo; a Mexican telenovela about Monserrat, whose first love, Jose Luis, is framed for murder by her family because her brother committed the murder, and the guy is poor. Her other suitor is rich, and through spectacular manipulation, helped along by no-cellphones, and the woman believing a sceptic too easily, she ends up married to suitor number 2. There’s turmoil as she rejects him when she finds out Jose Luis didn’t betray her and thereafter seeks her out. But then she finds herself falling in love with her husband, suitor number 2; which provides another source of friction.

I’d have no problems with the telenovela based on such premise, save for the execution of the story. Suitor number 2 rapes his wife, and with a flippant apology, expresses his regret about it. Apparently all is forgiven when she falls in love with him. If that isn’t an endorsement for marital rape, then someone needs their definition of marital rape aptly adjusted.

Do I mean that rapists shouldn’t be forgiven? That they aren’t loved? I don’t. I’m not so idealistic as to think they don’t get either. I, however, get pissed when a story handles such a real issue badly. Monserrat doesn’t get a remorseful husband for long; she doesn’t get an appropriate apology. And she doesn’t seem perturbed by the rape for more than five episodes. When the husband refers to the rape when she finds out she’s pregnant, asking if she doesn’t hate it because of the night of conception, she shrugs and says no. It wasn’t that big of a deal.

Bad-telenovela-teachings said what?

They aren’t problematic alone. Monserrat’s murderous brother gets protected by the family, and his brother-in-law when the truth is revealed. They could turn him in, and clear Jose Luis’ name, but not even Monserrat tries to do that. Why? Cause Jose Luis is working on her husband’s hacienda, and she fears her husband would kill him if he knew. I rolled my eyes five hundred times during that particular arc in the story. It’s not over as yet, but good-writing-Shonda if it doesn’t make me wish logic existed in telenovela lala land.

The murderous brother is also a thief, and fraudster. He, and his homoerotic friend execute a plan of falsely marrying a rich woman(who’s supposed to be ugly), and then making off with her fortune to Brazil. Him, and his friend run off to his sister’s hacienda to hide when the truth is found out. And it takes weeks for the jilted rich woman to find him, and only because he steals from his friend, who decides to get revenge by telling the rich woman where her fake husband is. What does the murderous brother get in punishment? A 12 month deal to be her legal husband, and suffer her vengeance. So far in the show, she doesn’t have a mean streak. It feels like the vengeance will entail home arrest, and considering her house, that’s a vacation for the murderous brother.

What does Jose Luis get? If telenovelas teach one thing, it’s that eros love is limited, and as such you can only love one person at a time. Bogus. Because of this, Jose Luis is turned into a villain. Which is bogus. Of all the characters, he suffers the most; the story should even be about him primarily as he loses his career, his identity, his standing in society, his family is apparently non-existent, his best friend, his lover, his wives as he marries twice. But it wouldn’t be in line with the teaching of the telenovela that the person to lose the most may be justified in bringing hell upon those who thrive in their misfortune. It just wouldn’t work.

I dislike what the telenovela has shown thus far as intriguing, and appealing themes. A murderer shouldn’t get to not even worry about going to jail beyond framing someone else. If Dimitrio(the murderous brother)  is that apathetic, then it works. Hopefully, that’s the point of his story thus far. Nevertheless, knowing he’s not the villain, and all the defence he gets from his aunt, reeks of a bad boy turned good. It shouldn’t be the case, cause mindless viewers are going to see it as a legit move. Possibly even apply it to their real lives.

Bad boys aren’t a real life thing cause storybooks, and Hollywood didn’t prop them up as salvageable beings in need of good hearts, and soft touch.

Someone having their life taken away from them shouldn’t be punished by being villainised so that the people the storytellers want to be liked by the audience can live well, and good.

A wife shouldn’t be afraid of her husband, or flippant of his actions, especially when he commits violence against her. Nadia, the lead’s best friend, has a violent husband who she thinks is gay because he doesn’t touch her, or any other woman sexually. Way to strongly imply that homosexuals are dangerous televisa. Two for one. She fears him a lot, until she finds a lover, and missing his attention, and affection is what drives her to be defiant towards her husband. It hurts my head to await her journey’s progression; cause on the one hand, it’s great she’s standing up for herself; on the other, I hate that it’s because of her lover. As if to say victims of abuse shouldn’t stand up to their abusers for anyone but someone who is their lover.

Furthermore, the lead female character shouldn’t be welcoming her husband, and contending that beneath his rage issues, he’s really a good guy, so that’s why she just shrugs off his abuse. Even the show’s priest supports, and promotes the idea to her, that her husband’s anger issues are solved by loving him. Talk about a dangerous message.

The telenovela is barely halfway through in airing, therefore, there’s still room for the characters to develop better, and contentious issues be addressed well, and good. But so far, the messages have been too harmful to be ignored. I hope no one is watching it and thinking they only need to be affectionate towards their abusers to change their ways; or that protecting criminals because they are family is the best thing to do.

It’s not.

It’s culture

I’m angry; raging a storm inside; and that my blood pressure reads normal should indicate that I have low blood pressure when unstimulated. I’m mad as hell.

This has been a week entrenched in misogyny, and rape that is not of the legal definition.

First off, Njoki Chege, the unnecessary antithesis to womanhood, and positivity in womanhood in Kenya, wrote an article describing the men who don’t fit her standards of being a husband. Now, for the purpose of this, I read her article. It is surprisingly painless.

She lists quite sensibly why she doesn’t date, or want to marry men who should be in her league age-wise. The points she lays out including bad drinking habits, bragging with unimpressive things, basing dates on frivolous, overhyped, or cheap gigs, and not holding intelligent conversations. She also points out many of them despise strongly opinionated women.

The reaction she got was exactly why she doesn’t date men of the age-set she assumes is expected of her. They hated on her opinions, and her. The irony was grating; and the hypocrisy made me get off facebook, and twitter. People read, but saw what they wanted. They didn’t comprehend her point. Typical but still irritating. The culture of misogyny took its practitioners off a cliff while they raged, and yelled about how unfair, and stupid Njoki Chege is for writing that she wants a man with an expensive car, financial stability, and good money management, with intelligent conversation content for a husband.

Second act of violence took place on Accra Road where guys take Embassava buses, and matatus. A hoard of men stripped a woman of her clothes because they were too tight, and provocative. To hear Embassava touts talk about it, they distance themselves from the crime that took place before them, and defend the criminals by portraying the woman as having provoked the men by talking back when they insulted her, and ripping her clothes by grabbing her pant leg out of the grip of one of the marauders.

I was stupefied by the defence. Some guy slept on the violence he witnessed, and decided it was the victim’s fault. She took herself there, and provoked the assaulters to rip her clothes off. Stupified.

Less stupifying, but equally as irritating is the reactions to the video of the assault. The typical rape culture enablers were there to regurgitate age-old tropes of “she shouldn’t have been wearing”, “she provoked”, “this is decency blah blah blah”. The others were annoying with their “what’s wrong with society” “what’s wrong with men” “I wonder why they did that” queries. The answer is simple; rape, misogyny, and male entitlement culture.

Kenya is a terrible place for women. Not as terrible as most of the continent, and that is saying something of the continent. Africa is riddled with disgusting misogyny, and rape cultures. Women work the most, the hardest, the longest, for the least. the money goes to men, and not all men, just the ones who have wrought havoc upon others, or have the power to do so. Men supported by women, and women who think being a man gains them a superior, and utmost level of humanity, and wealth.

It does, but it’s not acceptable, or ethical.

Men, and some women, think they have the right to police women. They tell women what to do, how to do it, why, when, and where; and if a woman refuses, she deserves the violence coming to her. Why do they think like this? I don’t have the words, coherency, or motivation to map out millennia of anti-woman ideologies designed, and distilled over time to become damn near inherent to humans. Millennia of anti-woman ideologies, and colonisation by Arabic, and European empires, and cultures have influenced, and been entrenched in the education of people in Kenya, and Africa at large to the extent that men think it’s natural to police women, and most of their time, to the detriment of the women.

It’s rape culture that has pervaded this country, and its citizens, and it’s killing the spirits of men and women who are its victims, and poisoning those of men, and women who are its perpetrators. Yes, women perpetrate the culture. They rape, and they enable rapists. Are they significant? Rapists who are women are difficult to tally up because their victims rarely report the rape officially, or publicly. It has everything to do with the shame attached to womanhood that is not only domineering, but strong enough to violate another.

Thank you Victorian era culture brought to us courtesy British Empire.(sarcasm)

Women who enable rapists are of a significant number. They are the ones that tell victims to keep quiet, demand victims prove their assault, fault victims for being assaulted, say victims deserved the rape, accept payment to keep assaults quiet, especially to save the rapist’s public reputation from the ugliness of being known as a rapist; and worst of all, support rapists. These women are in such great numbers that you could enter a matatu full of women, and they’d be at least half of the seats.

This anti-woman culture is ingrained in the country’s general society, and it’s not dying off any time soon. Before the Brits came through with their brutality to change cultures, there were cultures that meted violence upon women and called it nature. Circumcision robbing girls of natural sexual bodily functions, lack of political powers, lack of economic powers; and lack of equal footing with men in terms of being seen as human are many cultures that were prevalent in plenty of old nations in what is now Kenya. They have only thrived in years since independence, with people even laughing when shown the consequences of circumcision when it comes to birth. It’s a gruesome thing, but not to people practising it. Old women believe they’ve survived the pain, so can the following generations. Men believe it’s an honour, and since they see it as an honour, women must conform to their standards if they want to be married by them. In Kenya, tribalism is at level with overt racism in Europe, and Asia. Some people will literally rather stay single than marry outside of their old nation.

Such entrenched cultures can only be done away with using the same avenues the colonisers used to impose their cultures upon African natives; but are our teachers willing to teach a different culture from that which they were raised to believe was the utmost superior culture in the world? Not in the next two lifetimes I bet. Not unless it goes down with guns, and whips, and brutality to change for the better.

Truth Be Told

The year is drawing to an end; at least by the Gregorian calendar. People in China, and Ethiopia have more weeks to theirs, and utterly different year numbers. For the purpose of this post, I go with the UK fronted calendar, and it’s coming to an end. What better way to mark it, and depress myself than by thinking on what I have achieved this year. Truth be told, it’s nothing to write about, and that’s why I’m setting this down.

This year, I have been 27, and depressed.

I have been lazy, and unwilling to get a job.

I haven’t finished my thesis, and collected data by not engaging anyone face to face.

This year, I have met my friends less, I have thought of them less as friends, and even dumped some former friends.

This year, I’ve had less headaches, and more toothaches, less money, and more frustration than I remember. Though not more than 2013.

This year, I gave up. I had planned on publishing books on Amazon, get a job that I would hate, but keep at nevertheless cause I will inevitably hate everything, but commitment is my greatest challenge.

This year, I sucked, and I don’t care enough for it to be a shame for me.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve tried to make it a shame. I’ve used all the tactics including what my parents think of me, what I think of myself, my family, my friends, my 13 year old self. None of them are enough to make me feel so ashamed that I change.

This year, I had less suicidal thoughts; and those that I did have weren’t overwhelming. I suck so much that even the thought of my death does nothing for me anymore. No elation, no pity, no motivation to change; nothing.

Truth be told, I’m a woman who works everyday but gets no income; I take care of my grandmother 6 days out of the week, most weeks out of the month; and I am too tired to fight when the world makes me angry.

I’m not the story that people tell to amuse, or caution, or uplift. I’m not a story to anyone but myself, which is why I write this.

One day I’ll come alert and regret these days, and weeks, and years that I have wasted. One day, my mind, and my will will gel, and I will do things again. One year, I’ll sit down, and tally up what I have done with those 365.25/366 days, and they will constitute of tangible things like saving a life, making a life, leaving lives lived. This is not that year.

And if I die before that year; well, it’s a good dream, and a good intention to have.

Boko Haram tells world that kidnapped girls are long gone — just like #BringBackOurGirls crowd

sikujui:

“Whatever happened to Darfur? Why does The Kony 2012 YouTube video have over 99 million views, but those who liked the video are now, ironically, out of sight like “invisible children”? It’s because the modern left loves to let the world know that it cares about murder and genocide and oppressed peoples around the globe, but it doesn’t particularly like the hard work necessary to dispose of dictators and despots and entrenched warlords.”

Originally posted on Douglas Ernst:

Michelle Obama Bring Back Girls APIt was only a few months ago that celebrities and politicians took to Twitter to take on radical Islamic nutcases with the power of the hashtag. Inundated with millions upon millions of “#BringBackOurGirls” images, Nigerian terrorists sold their victims into slavery and married them off to terrorists and terrorist-sympathizers.

The Associated Press reported Saturday:

With a malevolent laugh, the leader of Nigeria’s Islamic extremists tells the world that more than 200 kidnapped schoolgirls have all been converted to Islam and married off, dashing hopes for their freedom.

“If you knew the state your daughters are in today, it might lead some of you … to die from grief,” Abubakar Shekau sneers, addressing the parents of the girls and young women kidnapped from a remote boarding school more than six months ago.

In a new video released late Friday night, the Boko Haram leader also denies there is a cease-fire with…

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Careless Corps

Wondering what it would take for the law making, and implementing institutions in this country to take assaults seriously. Cause murders are clearly not enough, rapes barely catch their attention, and they don’t even take the verbal assaults seriously unless it affects them. Look at how 2007/2008 riots were handled. How many people have been prosecuted, and convicted for their crimes?

The more the heads of these institutions claim to be reforming their organisations to better serve the country, and its citizens, the less effective the organisations are in carrying out any of the policies put in place to change the system. Which is why I can’t fault the heads, not when the majority of the people in the organisations are refusing to work with the new policies. Unless of course it brings them some kind of remuneration.

Police don’t care to increase patrols in some areas, don’t care to operationalise different, or new policies if they don’t bring them money. Case i point, the NTSA rules. The cops were quick to put up mobile courts, and catch jaywalkers at certain points in the city because they could charge, and fine people on the spot. Considering how many pedestrians a place like Nyayo Stadium roundabout sees in a day, clocking Ksh. 20,000 a day isn’t tough. In a month, the traffic cops around that area could net Ksh 500,000 for themselves, cause if anyone’s been to police stations around Nairobi this decade, they’d note that there’s a bit of coin coming from bribes, confiscations, and fines going into upgrading, remodeling, or repairs of the stations.

It’s as if they couldn’t care unless it gains them monetary remuneration, and what level of remuneration exactly is unknown. Because the greed that Kenyans in general are raised with is insatiable. Constantly being told to never be satisfied with what one has; to never be content. Following the heart, doing for the cause, for the living standard set by the government is not enough of a factor for policies to be implemented, for people to do the jobs they signed up for. It’s always about the money, and not enough of it will ever make majority of the cops, the judges, or the National Assembly work for the people positively.

I keep telling myself to write so my skills on writing can sharpen. You know, have great skill at conveying messages with a personal brand of telling. And I try, but it’s hard to keep in mind what I want to say when I’m dealing with my Cucu.

See, my Cucu has dementia, and she needs constant supervision cause she’s got the advanced symptoms i.e. hallucinations, weakened memory, and body. And to top the situation, my Mum doesn’t want her touching a lot of things around the house cause she messes up. All this tends to interrupt the thought process, and by the time she’s asleep, I’m too tired to care to write for anything.

So, what to do? I don’t know. Maybe short posts are better than none. Maybe five in one day, and a none for months thereafter isn’t bad. It’s a practise I have to try out, cause I’m losing the desire to write, again. I dislike it when that happens. And also, how am I supposed to get hired as a writer if I have noting to show for it?